Today’s Predictions: Croatia Vs Denmark

CROATIA (3) 1-1 (2)* DENMARK

*Penalties

Croatia vs Denmark

 

The 4th round of 16 match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup sees high-flying Croatia take on an inspired Danish side, with both teams faring quite well in the group stages.  

  • Date : 1st July June 2018
  • Time : 11:30 PM (IST)
  • Venue : Nizhny Novgorod Stadium  

Croatia smashed their way to the top in their group with 3 wins out of 3, while Denmark started well but then finished with 2 draws.

FIFA World Cup Qualification

Croatia had a decent qualifying phase, where the overall quality of their midfield was the primary reason that they managed to finish second behind Iceland in the group, to set up a play-off tie against Greece. The Croats won that play-off comfortably, enhancing their reputation as play-off specialists as the final score read 4-1.

Denmark had a solid qualifying campaign, finishing as runners up behind Poland to reach the playoffs. Though they suffered a disastrous loss to Montenegro, they bounced back better than ever and thumped eventual group winners Poland 4-0. They kept several clean sheets and eventually thrashed Ireland 5-1 in aggregate in the European Playoff, with Christian Eriksen scoring a sublime hattrick.

Team Form

Croatia have been going through a mixed run of form in recent months, with 3 wins and 2 defeats in their last 6 matches. They secured an impressive away victory against Mexico in tough conditions, to prove their mettle away from home as well, but were soon humbled by Brazil a week later. They were looking to re-organize before the tournament starts to make full use of the undisputed talent at their disposal, and that’s exactly what they did as they convincingly won their opening game.  They followed that up with a stunning win over Argentina to top their group.

Denmark have been in decent form of late, unbeaten in their last 7 matches. However, their only two wins during that run came against Panama and Republic Of Ireland. They have struggled in attack, scoring just once in 4 draws, but have been defensively solid as well, with just two goals conceded during that run.

Croatia and Denmark in the World Cup So Far

Croatia looked dominant from the first minute against a decent Nigerian side, and cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory to take sport in the group. In their second game, they produced arguably their biggest performance in history to completely dismantle giants Argentina 3-0. In their final game, they needed a late winner from Perisic to beat Iceland 2-1.

Denmark saw off an inform Peru side with a brilliant defensive display in their opening match of the tournament. They have conceded just 2 goals in their last 8 matches now, and would be looking to keep things tight at the back again to progress further in the tournament. Their second game was a well-fought 1-1 draw between two evenly matched sides, against Australia. In the final game, Denmark gave a good account of themselves, as they held pre-tournament favourites to a draw, and didn’t look nervous at all.

Head To Head Record

These two nations have met 5 times before, with both getting 2 wins each, and one match ending in a draw.

Team News

Croatia have a fully fit squad to choose from, with Ivan Rakitic also brushing off his injury scare. They tend to pack the midfield and then play with a sole target man, a tactic which has seen them fend of sides much bigger than them in recent times. Many of their players play for some of the biggest clubs in world football, and would be targeting a deep run in this year’s World Cup.

Denmark have a few injury troubles affecting them, none more so than their striker and probably the most popular player Nicklas Bendtner, who pulled out of the final squad due to a recurring injury. The team has been revolved around the maestro Christian Eriksen as expected, with plenty of flair and physicality in store

Players To Watch Out For

Croatia have one of the most talented midfields in Europe, with Real Madrid pair Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic pulling the strings behind Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Inter pair Perisic and Brozovic. With a front 3 of Mandzukic, Kalinic and Kramaric, Croatia have the potential to cause massive upsets in this tournament. Dejan Lovren and Corluka are the big names in defence.

Denmark’s undisputed main man to watch is Tottenham Hotspur’s brilliant attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen. Though he is more famous for his assists and overall vision, his impeccable long range shooting also enabled him to be his nation’s top scorer in qualifying with 11 goals. Young forward Nicolai Jorgensen is expected to lead the line and scored 21 goals for Feyenoord last season.

Croatia Vs Denmark Betting Odds And Key Statistics

  • Croatia are slight favourites in this match, after a dominating run in the tournament so far. But we do expect Denmark to provide a stern test for them.
  • Croatia’s David Suker won the golden boot at the 1998 World Cup, as the team won 5 matches. In contrast, they scored 6 goals in the group stages at the 2014 World Cup but still could not make it past the group stage.
  • Denmark has been defensively solid in recent times, while Croatia also conceded just 1 goal in the group stages. Hence, we expect a tight affair and would recommend betting on the under 2.5 goals market.
  • Croatia’s midfield is arguably the best in the world currently, with Luka Modric a top contender for the Golden Ball if his form continues.

Predicted Result

Croatia have been one of the most impressive teams in the tournament so far, with 3 convincing wins in 3 matches. We expect them to have too much quality for this Danish side, and escape with the narrowest of wins.

Our Predicted Scoreline: Croatia 1-0 Denmark   

 

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